Online support

Access translations, or read more of the story

Teach Yourself Get Started in Latin

(Hodder & Stoughton 2014)

 

Get Started in Latin (2014) is a revised edition of what was once Teach Yourself Beginner’s Latin. The course is intended for newcomers to either classical or medieval Latin. The readings feature a mule and his human companions, who live in a medieval monastery under threat of attack from Danes. The story is graded gently to practise each new point of language. A classical author is introduced in each of the twelve units, and the various channels of Latin’s influence on English are explored. The online supports provide an English translation of the Latin story, and also a continuation of the story (in Latin, with notes and translations).

The course is intended for newcomers to either classical or medieval Latin. The readings feature a mule and his human companions, who live in a medieval monastery under threat of attack from Danes. The story is graded gently to practise each new point of language. A classical author is introduced in each of the twelve units, and the various channels of Latin’s influence on English are explored. You can see a sample here (and start the course). The online supports provide an English translation of the Latin story, and also a continuation of the story (in Latin, with notes and translations).

AUDIO

You can hear the Story of Augustinus and the classical authors. For a complete read-through of the story or access individual episodes go to Track 14.

Two thousand years ago the Latin of Cicero, Horace, Ovid, Virgil and others was written to be heard. ‘Reading’ for their contemporaries usually meant listening to someone read aloud. Speeches, poems and histories were composed to be delivered orally. They were of course recorded on papyri – we are very fortunate to have (some of) these today. Once written a text could be shared with others, studied, imitated, housed in libraries, and their authorship identified and protected. And these ‘classical’ texts would be admired and studied from their day to ours. But none of this should distract from what was a very aural experience for those appreciating these works in their day.

The audio for this course has come into its own, not necessarily read any more beautifully, but applied in a way which has proved rewarding for those unlocking the meaning of Latin on the page. Beginners have found it helpful to hear the Latin before they pay close attention to the text. I recommend a preliminary glance at the vocabulary of each text and then listen to the recording before you look at the passage more closely.

 

Hear more readings of classical authors

Pre-2014 editions

 

The story remains largely the same in the 2014 edition, but the new sections on classical authors, the inclusion of many more practice exercises, long vowels marked with macrons, and various other additions large and small, make it incompatible in a classroom with earlier versions (Apologies to teachers active with the old edition. I am sure the publisher will send you a desk copy – GS).

 

Go here for translations of the older editions